With two more horrific mass shootings occurring within less of 24 hours of one another the news media is now teaming with headlines about violence in America.  There’s no end to the long line of pundits, politicians, and experts who have their opinion of what’s the cause and what can be done to stop the violence.  Time and time again there are rallies and rallying cries to “Do Something”, change the laws, change access, change the culture, and yet in the end, very little if anything changes – hence two more mass shootings.  

Here are a couple of truths that are being ignored:  We are violent by nature and some in our society are going to express what the majority of society represses.

As humans we have a violent nature – regardless of gender, age, race, religion, etc.  Men and women will fight to protect their possessions, positions, and families; moms and dads will go into full assault mode if their children are being threatened or attacked; and children will punch a sibling, another child, or the family dog if their favorite toy is unexpectedly taken away.  It is in our nature to act out aggressively – violently – when we feel threatened or attacked or perceive something important is being taken a way from us. 

Let’s start by owning the fact that we are ALL possess the potential for violence by nature.  Only when we admit this truth can we start to have a meaningful conversation about the future and direction for each individual and society as a whole.  

What if people admitted they too are angry and sometimes violent, just in a different form?  Not sure where to begin, answer these questions:  “In what areas of my life am I or have I been angry?” and “How do I express my violent side?”  Answering these questions is the start to the solution. 

To those who respond “I’m not violent” or “I don’t express violence or anger” are ignoring the core issue: we are all violent and express it in various ways.  Again, no meaningful solution(s) can be formed until we own the fact that each of us is violent and  express violence in our own way: some with painful silence, others with painful bullets. 

In the next segment of this series “Why Are American Men So Angry” I’ll explore the little talked about contributing factors to the rise in violence in America, that goes way beyond any one person or group – In the final installment, I’ll talk about meaningful solutions to the challenges we face, including how to embrace anger and violence and see it for what it actually is: helpful.